Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ When Angels Fall ❯ Trials ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
When Angels Fall
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That was the only warning, a sound they had wished to never hear again.
It wasn't really a roar, just the sound of the energy beast focusing its power to prepare for an attack. It didn't have vocal cords, and the usual sound it made was the plasma field it generated as what some would call skin coming into contact with the surrounding air.
Usagi looked at her mate, his eyes not showing any hint of emotion. She wanted to say something, to offer a plan to leave this place, to have some way of holding the great beast inside the tunnel, so when it collapsed, the beast would be scattered across existence, beyond even its ability to adapt or survive. They had worked too hard for too long to open this tunnel, to open an escape from the Null Point Prison, to finally be free, and to exist back home as a couple.
They had dreamed about it since they had become a couple. They wanted to see a sunset above a city, to walk among other couples, to express love…
To live without the threat of an inhumane monster trying to kill you almost every day…
She wanted to see if he could propel them out quicker, to escape this Hell in Heaven. Usagi wanted to be with him now and forever. He was her prince, her love, her soul mate, and she was willing to do anything to keep that connection and love.
Apparently, so was he, as she found only a locket shoved into her hands, his only response.
Casting her eyes towards her mate, she saw his cocky smile back, but a few tears coming through his eyes. “Ranma?”
Before she could respond, his mouth was on hers, delivering a kiss. “I'll always watch over you all. I promise.”
Before she could respond, she found herself and their children flying faster down the tunnel, as Ranma appeared to stand still; the tether that had connected them all now free from his waist.
Why did he... NO! NO! “RANMA!”
They tried to go after him, tried to stop him, but time was against them, even in a place where it had no meaning, as the flows of subspace sped them towards the exit of the tunnel.
They heard his final call; the final act of the man who they had thought would never leave them, who would always stand with them and protect them from the darkness. “LUNAR DRAGON STRIKE!”
“RANMA!” screamed Usagi, sitting up in her bed, sweat pouring off her, her breathing rapid.
Usa sat up as well, having spent the night in her Mother's bed, quickly wrapping her arms around Usagi. “Momma, are you okay?”
Usagi could only clutch her youngest child, and resumed crying.
Ikuko looked towards the stairs, having heard Usagi's scream, only to be kept from racing up to her daughter by the steady hands of her grandson: Keitaro.
“She'll be fine, Usa's there with her.”
Ikuko could only continue to stare. “Does she…”
Keitaro sat back down, drinking some tea. “Yeah. It's a nightmare about what happened when Dad decided to stop the beast from coming after us.” He looked outside, seeing Ryoko and Tenma sparring while Ranko appeared to be meditating. “We've each been trying to deal with it in our own ways. Ranko's been more into meditation, trying to gain control over her temper. Ryoko and Tenma spar. Raiden seems more introspective lately.”
“And you?” she asked, the early morning light creating a shadow over his eyes.
“Me? I am still playing it through my mind, trying to figure out a way to have saved him.” He placed the empty cup back down. “There was nothing we could do, but it doesn't make it any easier to accept that as fact.”
“I assume she tried to bring him back, like she did with her friends when they died facing Beryl?” Ikuko still found that hard to believe, but trusted it since Usagi was now proof of stranger things.
He nodded. “For two days, she just sat in meditation, trying to focus the powers of the two crystals to bring him back to life.” He shook his head. “In the end, all we learned is that he was either instantly reborn outside of her ability to sync with, is someplace where the crystals can't find his soul, or…” He trailed off, not wanting to admit the final possibility: that Ranma's soul was destroyed.
But that possibility had become a more solid reality as time had gone on. If his soul had been instantly reincarnated—even in another universe or dimension—Usagi would have been able to sense it.
So, all that was left was either his soul was beyond their reach, or there was no longer a soul to reach for.
Ikuko nodded, trying to be supportive as best as she could. “What about Mamoru?”
He looked up, staring into her eyes. “To be honest, we're not really certain how to view him. We know she still likes him, but after Dad… That is a topic best left for the future to work out. If they can find love together, then I don't think any of us would stand in their way.”
Ikuko nodded. “That is a very adult position to take. But will that hold up in practice?”
He chuckled. “Probably not.” He turned around, looking at his last sibling: Raiden, asleep on the couch. “When did he get back?”
“Three,” said Ikuko. “I was awake when he returned.”
This surprised Keitaro, since it was only six in the morning. “Not much for sleeping?”
She smiled. “I had too much of a shock yesterday. I'm still feeling the buzz.”
He nodded, knowing what she was talking about. He stayed awake for three days after he was finally able to start launching energy blasts. “He say anything?”
“Yes. He had to discipline a myopic duck?” she answered, confusion evident on her face.
He chuckled again. “Mousse. The guy is as blind as Mother is hungry, and changes into a duck.”
Ikuko, having taken as truth the tales of Jusenkyo that Usagi had related to her, nodded in understanding. “Anyway, the Amazon females and Ukyo stayed with the Tendo sisters last night, sharing their grief and stories of Ranma. He says they seemed better before they fell asleep.”
Smiling, he sighed. “Dad was always worried about how things would be when we returned. He was a little worried about our safety if the others found out he was no longer on the market.”
Ikuko sighed. “You think they'll leave you alone afterwards?”
“Not a chance in hell,” he said flat out, without a moment's hesitation. “The Amazons might seek an alliance, which Mom might approve of, since they do resemble some of the Old Guard from the Moon Kingdom. We know the Phoenix will seek us out once Saffron is old enough to want to ascend again, since Dad gave Mom the Keys of Ascension to hold. Herb might come to seek a political marriage from one of my sisters. Then we have the worthless panda trying to leech off us. But since Mom and Dad weren't married under formal ceremonies or legal ones in Japan, he won't be able to touch us or anything we own. But I doubt that'll stop him from trying to engage us so that he can live on easy street.”
“And his wife?” she asked, knowing how touchy that subject was now, as even she found herself feeling little empathy with Nodoka Saotome. It had taken much of Ikuko's constitution and self-control not to immediately go after the woman.
He snorted. “The woman was happier to have grandchildren than upset about her son being dead. For all I care, the Saotome clan can burn in hell. The only good thing they ever had died saving us. From what we saw yesterday and what we know from Dad's stories, I fear there is little to be gained from associating with them other than chaos and trouble.”
He shook his head. “I know Dad was hoping we could all be happy together—he was eternally optimistic like Mom at times—but…I fear too many bridges have been burned by them for even an uneasy alignment to occur.”
She nodded. “I agree.” She grabbed his hand in her own. “Your Father was a great man, and he helped raise some great children. I truly wish I could have known him in person.”
“Thanks,” he smiled. “So, I take it you'll want a little chat with Luna when Shingo brings her and Diana back?” He had to smile at that. The lunar advisors had been taken by his Uncle to a pet show, so that his uncle could score some points with a new girl that had caught his fancy.
She nodded with a devilish smile. “Yes, Luna and I will definitely need a nice long talk about…training.” Ikuko had been most upset—not at the fact her daughter had been battling the things that went bump in the night—but that they had no training, other than a few words of encouragement.
She smiled. “He'll be coming home in a few hours. I'm not too upset, but he did go to Kyoto on the rumor that Usagi was there sleeping with a touring band and had run off to be a groupie.”
He chuckled at her look: it was the same one his Mother had when his Father had done something stupid and that would result in a painful lesson of behavioral modification: I.E., a log upside the head.
Nodoka slowly trudged home with the drunken fathers, their night having made little progress.
Of course, several bar patrons had a strange memory of a woman yelling that her son's mistress of three hundred years was rather rude, a fat man crying about how dishonorable his weak son was for dying like a little girl, and the moans of a crying man as he lamented how his daughters would never get married now.
Nodoka was still upset with her treatment at the hands of Usagi and the Tendo girls, but found her own feelings just as torn.
She knew she was a great mother…wasn't she?
She knew she was focusing on what was important…wasn't she?
She had acted correctly…hadn't she?
She shook her head, trying to regain her focus. When they arrived back at the dojo, they would sit the girls down, and explain it well enough where they would see the correct course of action. After all, the girls would follow honor and what it demanded…wouldn't they?
Shaking her head, she looked…sadly…over to her backup against the girls and their streak of disagreement.
Soun and Genma—in panda form—were singing some bar song, as well as occasionally stopping to lament on how traitorous Ranma had acted by siring children with the loose woman lured him away from his caring and gentle fiancée.
Maybe I should have left them in that bar…or the alley they passed out in…or the train car…or…
Yes, this was not a battle of wit, for sadly, she was unarmed and carried no backup.
“And that's it,” said Nabiki, as she placed the last photo in the album. She smiled as she looked at it, each girl having taken an album and adding what photos of Ranma they felt worked best; a collage of their chosen experiences with Ranma.
Not one picture had been left when they separated the pile Nabiki had. They all found meaning to some girl there. In the end, all of the empty albums had been filled with photos, each girl finding a special story within, and each one feeling like Ranma.
Ukyo yawned, looking at the clock. “Well, they'll be here in ten hours. We should probably get some sleep.” The chef wasn't exactly certain what would happen at the meeting. Part of her wanted to fight the woman that had stolen Ranma's heart from his cute fiancée, but Akane had been right: there was nothing to fight over anymore.
Of course, another fight was already declared when three adults walked into the dining area, spotting the group of girls.
Nodoka smiled. “Ladies, we need to discuss some things.”
The full Tsukino family was walking down the streets of Nerima, fresh from the train.
Kenji was rubbing his sore head, now back among the living, after his wife had shown him how hard a can of paste could be when applied to the human skull.
Shingo was hiding the scratches he had received when he had tried to impress his new interest by offering to let their cats have kittens. Luna and Diana did not enjoy being…pimped out.
Said cats were on the shoulders of their respective princesses.
Luna had not been happy about what Usagi had told her, but relented after a long…discussion…with Ikuko. Why did she threaten to take away my catnip? WHY?
Diana was happy that her and Little Lady could now have fun and not have to worry about simply fading from existence.
Usa was smiling, finding her connection to her Mother growing by leaps and bounds since her return, finding herself enjoying this new version of her Mother. Luna-P was even with her now as an umbrella, in case her step-grandparents decided to play…rough.
The other children were constantly on alert, each hoping for the wrong person to cross their paths at the right time.
Usagi was quiet, her right hand idly petting Luna. Inside, she was feeling worry creep in. She had no doubt that all the fiancées were at the Tendo home now, and that the Fathers would have heard of what had occurred, most likely putting their own selfish spin on things. From what Raiden had told her, the Fiancée Brigade might not be a threat, but would still be viewed with caution. After all, it was the snake you never saw that was the one most likely to bite you.
But that still left the Kunos and Happosai; two groups that were currently under a Kill-On-Sight order for at least one of her children. She had no idea how things would go with Kodachi.
Not that she was worried. After dealing with the beast for three centuries, what threat was a little girl who used potions and poisons. No, the little insane gymnast would not fair well against her, more likely ending up in intensive care after a minute, followed by a hefty lawsuit.
No, Kodachi's brother: Tatewaki, would fair far worse. He was stupid enough to see Ranko as his supposed “pigtailed goddess” and try to assault her with his unwanted attentions.
She had no illusions about what would happen should any member of her family find Happosai. While her children knew how to deal with him—now that they had more power than the letch could ever steal or absorb, and Usa was safe because of her age, she herself found it hard not to feel unrestricted rage at the diminutive man. She had visions often enough of herself choking the life from the diminutive and childish perverted founder of Anything Goes. In fact, she had already formed several plans herself on how to deal with the little letch.
But, her always eternally happy and peaceful side would rear its head.
If not for them, she never would have met and been with Ranma. They never would have had five wonderful children, and she would most likely be trying to turn the world into a living embodiment to clueless blond jokes everywhere.
Not that that simple fact would spare their lives. No. While being with Ranma had been the best experience of her life, losing him had been the worst. Happosai and Tatewaki Kuno had messed around with magic they had no understanding of, for simple revenge and petty spite.
Well, for now, they merely needed to deal with two incompetent fathers and one mentally displaced mother. Ranma had seen the Tendo Dojo as his home, and in her eyes, it deserved to house his funeral. She knew the true proprietors of the place agreed.
Now, she just needed to deal with the freeloaders.
Of course, as with her mate, Usagi was finding it disturbingly frequent for Murphy's Law to butt into her life.
Ranko; however, was thanking whatever Kami had answered her prayers, as she was now able to release some stress on a truly deserving target.
“Pigtailed Goddess! You have returned to me!”
They stared at the delusional fool, with only one thought in their collective minds: Dead Man Walking!